Tunisian president says he's drafting timetable for political reforms
Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Thursday he was working non-stop on a timetable for reforms to defuse growing criticism at home and abroad since he dismissed the cabinet, suspended parliament and took personal power four months ago.
But Saied did not specify when he expected to present the action plan even as pressure mounts for a roadmap to end a state of emergency and return to parliamentary democracy.
"We are working day and night to set a timetable for reforming the political system in a way that responds to the demands of Tunisians," Saied said during a meeting with his appointed government.
Saied seized nearly all powers in July in a move his critics called a coup, a decade after the Arab Spring's first and only successful pro-democracy uprising, before installing a new prime minister and announcing he would rule by decree.
Last week, thousands of Tunisians protested near parliament in the capital, demanding he reinstate the assembly, while major foreign donors whose financial assistance is needed to unlock an International Monetary Fund rescue package for the economy have urged him to return to a normal constitutional order.
Saied has defended his takeover as the only way to end governmental paralysis after years of political squabbling and economic stagnation, and he has promised to uphold rights and freedoms won in the 2011 revolution.